*it’s not proofread and I don’t give a shit, I have a job in the morning
Jesus Christ. I feel like a slob. No, not the kind that’s been eating nothing but pizza and cheesesteaks over the 3 day weekend and started the week off right with a chicken biscuit from McDonalds. No. Look at this blog. What have we become, MySpace? That last post, the New Worst Pizza in Richmond, I can’t even remember what I ate that day. I remember hating it though. That’s all that matters in this, ahem, industry.
Well I’m not going to bore you with all the pizza I’ve eaten.. ahhhhh fuck it yes I am. Here’s a quick recap of Richmond ‘za. Tarrant’s continues to kill it. Whole pies, slices to go, it’s all pretty much better than everything else out there when it comes to large, floppy New York slices. I recommend the Bacon Delight. Belmont fucking sucks. Their pizza isn’t worth a damn unless you cover it in bacon and their employees would get circles run around them by the 3 mexicans that run Mary Angela’s, which by the way is the only place near the museum district you can walk and get a valuable slice at. Sorry punks. Learn how to answer a fucking phone. Work downtown? Go to JoJo’s. It’s still pretty solid and fast. Nothing really extraordinary. Piccola’s and Mary Angela’s both benefit from the extra-crispy reheat. Let it cool down, throw it back in the oven and that crust will finally support itself like a proper NY slice should.
The other day I got wind of a new pizza place opened up near the 7-Eleven on Belvidere near Oregon Hill. Popeye’s Pizza. The name is digusting. Beyond conjuring up some new blog traffic I really had no interest in trying this out. I knew exactly what I was in for.
Before I go on I want to take time to ponder the previous title holder for The Richmond Worst Pizza Champion. No chains allowed. Too easy. I’ll even go a little further and say it’s got to stick within the confines of Richmond city proper, including Manchester. Bike distance ‘za is what I’m saying. I’m also going to exclude non-Italian restaurants that happen to have pizza on their menu thus eliminating Joe’s Inn and The Eatery as I’m sure they’d win.
What’s the worst? I’ve had some terrible, inedible slices from Belmont but I’ve also had some great pies there. Zorba’s in the Northside serves up some pretty awful stuff with the allure of Ninja Turtle cheese. Hmm… Bottom’s Up? By virtue of me being jealous of their location and success (and let us not forget they serve up casseroles for pizza and their thin crust is straight out of Pizza Hut) I may have to hand this to Bottom’ Up. Oh, how can we forget (how can’t we really) Robin Inn?! The neighborhood geriatric Italian diner served some atrocious shit when I wrote about it in 2009. Yes. If I remember the pizza served up at Robin Inn was the worst I’ve had in this city. Ever.
Okay so let’s check out the two slices I got at Popeye’s.
Naturally I had no cash on me and their card swipin’ limit was set at $6. That meant I had to buy (2) $2.00 slices of cheese pizza and a Red Bull drink which would later disappear in my overpopulated refrigerator. The day was set man, it really was. I got out of work early Friday afternoon pumped for a bike ride on the local trails. I had new pedals on my commuter bike which felt fuckin’ great and it was finally getting warm. I rode home with these slices in hand and plopped down on the couch on my porch to find that the slices had gone completely cold in the 7 minutes it took to ride home from Belvidere. The stench of this stuff smelled like microwaved Bagel Bites…which I love by the way. I grew up eating those little rubbery things. But THIS. sigh… THIS is the kind of shit I do for the sake of having a pizza blog. You couldn’t call this a pizza crust. It was a doughy, soft, limp product that hardly resembled food. It felt like Playdoh. The cheese congealed atop the sauce to reveal a what looks like varicose veins on your old math teacher’s legs. :puke
I woofed down one and a half slices and tossed the rest in the trash. The extra carbs might be good for the ride I was about to go on if only my body would digest this stuff properly! The entire ride I could feel my stomach struggling to process this crap, occasionally feeling it climb back up my esophagus in all its acidic glory. Stomach cramps, acid throat and a bouncy trail system made for an uncomfortable ride. I had never ridden so poorly.
So there ya go. Popeye’s Pizza on Belvidere. It’s conveniently located under that near brick student apartment building and the inside of the pizzeria is just as ugly as the pie itself. Drab. Cheap. Wal-mart-esque. Clean. Gross. Congratulations guys!
The weather is getting warmer and the the MLS, being the wacky ass football league it is, just kicked off its season. I had the great pleasure of attending the D.C. United home opener with some great friends. Free tailgate beers, and a bunch of maniacal Screaming Eagles were the perfect start to a winning evening. D.C. United edged out Real Salt Lake 1-0 on the night and the home fans left in triumphant song. I left with a belly full of Pizza and Modelo Especial.
Approaching RFK stadium from Lot 8 there is a whole bunch of tailgating tables with food and booze, sponsored vendors and a few food trucks. DC Slices was brought up by a friend who knew his way around and my pre-game snack was decided. DC Slices offer a cheese, pepperoni, or buffalo chicken slice, all at $5 a piece or 2 for $8. This would normally pretty steep, but being at a sporting event and coming from a food truck, I was willing to shell out a few more bucks.
I grabbed 2 slices of cheese to get a benchmark. This truck will give you a little Zorro squirt of ranch and/or fresh basil on request at no upcharge. They also have all your favorite sprinkle flavors on standby – garlic powder, salt, pepper, red pepper, oregano, etc. The cheese pizza on it’s own was mediocre. A slice you might expect from an Extreme Pizza or any conveyor belt style oven. These pies looked like they were sitting in Vulcan ovens, several racked up ready to serve. I wasn’t sure if they were using the same ovens to cook the pies. The cheese was ninja turtle mode and the sauce was bland without being bad. The crust held everything together pretty well and the bones weren’t too chewy but could have used a little more puff.
All in all I was satisfied. The fresh basil was a major bonus.A friend got the buffalo chicken (didn’t get a photo) and I had a few bites which ended up being the best of the day. I’ll definitely be seeing a few more D.C. United games this season the DC Slices truck will be on the brain.
A couple weeks ago I managed to snag a free ticket to the Washington Capitals/New Jersey Devils game in D.C., a game that my birthday preceeded by about a week. People do insane things for Reddit “karma,” including giving away a $150 ticket to a sporting event. I’ve practically lost a friend to Reddit karma. It’s ridiculous. The game is at noon on a Saturday which leaves me struggling to get up early enough after a Friday night of, you know.
Anyways. The game was a wash, but I had a fucking blast. I sat four rows from the glass and got a couple birthday beers from two Devils fans that I’d never met and we sat in a section void of Brodeur jerseys as we watched our backup goalie get shelled by Alex Ovechkin. The Devils would score one on Capitals goalie Brayden Holtby but the 3rd period saw the Caps arsenal being unleashed.
Being heckled the entire time, the three of us went across the street from the Verizon Center to Fuel Pizza & Wings. Heckled in line, we order a pitcher of whatever shit beer they have and a few slices. I went with a cheese slice and something calle The Obama.
The Obama: pineapple, bacon, mozz, honey mustard and cheddar somewhere in there. A really killer combination of the best things you could put in your mouth and it works like a charm. Eating Obama was so good I don’t even remember the cheese slice.
Exiting the pizzeria I noticed a wild Devils fan in the distance. This wild fan was surrounded by a few folks clad in Brodeur jerseys and they appeared to be yelling at luxury automobiles exiting the Verizon Center. When I approached I saw the man known on the Twitterverse as DevilsPoncho1 and he was yelling at Caps forward Mike Ribeiro as he sat in his black Mercedes.
I originally wanted to get back on the metro and head to my car but I soaked in a good 15 minutes of hilarity as this guy goaded several Capitals players about sports things until they all appeared to be headed to their fancy Springfield area mansions.
Devils lost, but I had a blast thanks to a generous stranger and scored some delicious pizza in the process. Go Devils.
I’ve been extremely lucky to travel as much as I have over the last few years. My last two trips took me up the east coast in a van. I then ventured cross country to Big Sky, MT, a place I’ve been before, just not in the winter. Both trips came and wents faster than I would’ve liked but they were action packed and had just enough pizza.
If you’re in Baltimore and want Neopolitan, punk rock, and good booze, look no further than Johnny Rad’s. Easy to spot, this pizza dive serves first class pie and a huge range of beer and booze. Add in skee ball and a top notch punk rock playlist and you’ve got the blueprint for one of the best pizza bars I’ve ever had the pleasure of frequenting.
We had a great show in Philly and the boys were treated to some beers and zah afterwards. I can’t deny the hospitality, but as a journalist I have to be honest. The best description of the pizza was spaghettios piled high on top of saltines. In a drunken moment I was able to crush an entire slice that took a good 3 minutes to actually chew and swallow. We had a hell of a time though. Make no mistake.
Our last day brought us to Benni Marconis in Roanoke. No bullshit, slices as big as your head and booze until 3am. Big thanks to the local guys for hosting a hell of a show and ushering the crew to pizza heaven after the fact.
A few weeks later I jumped on a plane to Big Sky Montana to visit my sister for her birthday. I was lucky to catch a slice in the Detroit Airport. Flavored crust? This was pizza hut on its best day. Hungry Howies flavored crust pizza. I crushed a slice of pepperoni and boarded. I’d eat it again if I had to. That’s about it.
Oh ya. One more thing. I had lunchpak jalapenos on North End Pizza with homemade ranch. What a treat.
Thank you, thank you. All the birthday wishes have me a little teary eyed. May God bless me eternally…
A few weeks ago I decided I wanted a 2×12 speaker cabinet since realizing that my 4×12 wouldn’t fit in the trunk of my Honda. I hadn’t played a show on guitar since my last car and the fact didn’t cross my mind until I had to play in Norfolk at the end of said week. I hopped on craigslist and found one that struck my fancy way out in Powhatan or Amelia or something. A pretty beautiful drive through a bunch of winding roads and walls of skinny trees.
On the way back I needed to put an embarrassing amount of cash into my gas tank (I’m one of those tank-is-never-full- kind of guys) and I notice a really crappy looking “pizza” place in the same building.
Fuck it. I ordered a personal cheese for $5.50 and raced home to catch a Devils game.
The ingredients were sweet and cheap tasting but the cheese had a fun, chewy texture that almost squeaks between your teeth when you chomp down. I like that. I don’t know why, I guess it’s a childhood thing, but I enjoyed this little thing. I actually enjoyed it a lot more than the last Belmont slice I had. This shouldn’t be taken as a slight to Belmont Pizzeria, but no one should be ordering plain cheese slices from there. They’ve got too many awesome topping choices and I’m glad it’s within walking distance of my house.
Not only that, but the Devils won and I got a killer 2×12 for my birthday.
A good buddy of mine recently updated his bank card. He apparently couldn’t decide what kind of cat photo to put on his card. What an interesting dilemma. He made the right move – He had his card printed up with a photo of a monstrous slice from Belmont Pizza in Richmond. Yes, those are french fries on top. This kind of attention to detail derserves it’s own rewards program.
Turns out the Great One that owns every record also owns the coolest pad. But not for long. #99 is selling his palace and Pamparius just happens to have a kickstarter going with a 14.9999 million dollar goal. Look at that fuckin’ oven!
Pamparius on Twitter
- @GenoSmith_12 I hear Canadien pizZA TASTES real good #CFL
- @wyshynski do you think Irwin R. Schyster will make an appearance on this very special Tax day Monday night RAW?
- @JerseyDevils wish Lou allowed players to have Twitter so I could tell them how much they STINK.
- @AlchemyRVA back on Franklin?